Before you head to the beach again, discover some fun new beach games for kids that are simple, easy, and totally fun beach games! They are likely even entertaining enough for teens and adults. Enjoy the sun, the sand, and the surf with these beach game ideas.
Heading to the beach with kids is awesome, but also a bit stressful right?
However, there is something so relaxing about the water, the sun, the undulating waves, too….
But sometimes those kids don’t just want to stay still and enjoy the moment, they want to have fun with you at the beach!
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Because I follow water safety tips, we tend to have a lot of fun making up our own beach games!
The sand and the surf allow for some super fun and unique beach games for kids and adults.
Beach Games for Kids
Because I’m a sucker for good old fashioned fun that doesn’t involve much prep or buying things, the first few beach games for kids are rather simple in nature.
Then I’ll share a few beach games that require purchasing something or some prep work.
1. Beach Tag & Surf Tag
Taking this classic children’s game and adding sand and surf gives you quite the workout and fun with this kids beach game!
We usually set limits as to how far out you can go in the water, and set limits on how far left and right by some sort of marker on the sand so there are imaginary boundaries.
2. Don’t Look Back
This beach game is all about how brave and strong you are, so naturally, kids love it and hate it. Everyone stands in a line, holding hands in the surf (or not), the same distance from the shore, and face the sand, with their backs to the ocean.
Everyone waits in the line for the waves to crash upon them and can’t look back.
When the waves do come, everyone is surprised and shocked and have to remain upright, or they lose that round and are out until the next round.
Whoever resists the power of the waves and doesn’t look back the longest, wins! Then a new round can begin again.
3. Run Away from the Waves
As the waves keep crashing down on the beach, causing water to flow over the sand, play a game where you have to run away from the surf and not let it get you wet! If it does, you’re out until the next round.
You could also draw lines in the sand where you think the next wave will hit and whoever is closest, wins! You can play this over and over again.
4. Beach Scavenger Hunt
You can prep this beforehand or totally make it up as you go, but come up with a list of beach scavenger hunt items that the kids have to find at the beach like a seashell, piece of trash, crab, seagull, sand bucket, sunblock, towels, fishing pole, dolphin, whatever.
The first person to see and/or collect all the items wins! They can get the first pick of popsicles or whatever prize you want to give.
You could also award more or less points to various things seen. It would make this a fun educational beach game too if you teach about these animals or objects.
5. Beach Hole Digging & Burying Each Other
Competitive hole digging, why not?
It’s always fun to see if you can dig deep enough in the sand to strike water. Divide your group into two teams and see who can dig to water the fastest.
After the holes are dug, have fun burying people in the sand.
6. Sand Castle Competition (or other sand creations)
Bust out your artistic skills, buckets, pails, and shovels, and see who can make the most creative sandcastle… or castle-like sand creation, or sand animal, or sand snowman.
You can set a time-limit or other parameters to keep it engaging as well.
I often find that moat building is actually more fun than the actual castles the moats contain.
Also, you could switch this to just who can build the tallest sand mound or tower instead!
7. Beach Bucket Fill-Up Games
With buckets and water and sand, I feel like there are a dozen different game variations you can play using buckets, water, and sand.
You can place a bucket full of water opposite an empty one and challenge the kids to take water from the full one to the empty one one shovel-full at a time. You could also do it with sand in the buckets instead.
You can have them balance buckets somehow, fill up buckets with water directly from the shore, or
8. Sand Writing Games Like Tic-Tac-Toe and Pictionary
Take easy paper-based games like Tic-Tac-Toe or the dot game and put them on the sand! You can mark the tic-tac-toe with shells or draw with a stick.
You could also draw in the sand a picture that other people have to guess what it is like Pictionary.
You can also write letters or words in the sand or numbers, seeing who can write the word before the waves crash and erase it.
You can also make a hopscotch game in the sand.
9. Marco Polo & Other Pool Games
While a pond, lake, river, or ocean are not the same as a pool in several ways, many swimming pool games still transfer over well to the beach.
Have the kids play Marco Polo, do chicken fights, surf on each others’ backs, see who can hold their breath the longest underwater… you know, the usual stuff.
10. Beach Leapfrog and Other Childhood Games
Chasing each other, having tickle fights, wrestling in the sand, jumping over each other like frogs, and playing a round of Simon Says, Mother May I, or Red Rover are all classic children’s games that sand and water can make even more fun and interesting!
11. Beach Ball Games
There are a number of fun beach ball games you can play, as simple as keeping the ball from touching the ground, to dodge ball, to towel tossing over volleyball nets (and you can make your own lower volleyball nets with some sticks and a beach towel tied between them).
(I love these jumbo sequin beach balls! If you’re gonna get beach balls, why not get glam ones? 😂)
Water guns can add to the fun as you rely on them to move the beach ball around the sand instead of your hands.
But, really, bring any sports ball and you can now play that game, but at the beach, thus making it a beach game for kids, right?
Easier balls to play with at the beach are, of course, volleyballs and soccer balls, but other ones work too.
12. Water Gun Games
With an endless supply of water at their fingertips, water guns can be a super fun and easy way to play at the beach with kids! Whether you stick to the classic water gun fight, or use the water guns to fill up buckets with water or move beach balls around, water guns are super fun!
13. Beach Bowling
You can bring a toy bowling set, but you will likely have some water bottles or other objects along with you that you can set up on the beach to knock over with some sports ball, like a tennis ball, that you brought along with you as well.
Roll the ball into the bottles (or other objects) and see how can knock down the most!
14. Ball Channel Races
Dig trenches just big enough for a small light ball like a ping pong ball to fit in and create a maze for your ball to go through. You can then challenge each other to blow the ball through the maze the fastest!
Digging and blowing are sure to entertain for quite a while.
15. Sandball Fights
Okay… no one wants sand thrown in their faces, but if you can figure out a way to create and throw sandballs in a safe and “everyone’s happy at the end” way, do it, because it’s so much fun to make and throw wet balls of sand.
You could have them throw the sandballs at the sandcastles they each made to see who can do the most damage to the others’ castle in five minutes, or throw sand into a bucket, or try to knock over a series of objects using sandballs.
Be creative but safe.
16. Beach Musical Chairs
While you can actually use beach chairs and a speaker playing music to play musical chairs at the beach, you can also do something like the se7en family did and use shovels or spades stuck in the ground behind a line drawn in the sand, with one less than there are people running, and see who can get the last spade!
You could also play beach musical chairs just using some beach towels instead of chairs.
17. Beach Skee-Ball
This unique idea from Leo James looks super promising and easy. Create your own skee-ball ramp in the sand, complete with a hole big enough to fit your ball, and see if your kids can roll the ball into the hole!
18. Beach Targets
Similar to the skeeball, you can do what the Nerd’s Wife did and just draw circles with various points in them and challenge each other to roll a ball into the highest point circle.
But anything you can think of to make into a target kids aim balls, rocks, sticks, or sandballs at works too! Just set up various objects your brought or you found at the beach.
You could try to shoot balls through inner tubes you brought for example, or throw a Frisbee into the tube or between objects on the beach.
19. Beach Crawl or Crab Walk
Sand is tough stuff to walk through, let alone crawl through! Challenge the kids, and yourself, to crawl through the sand as fast as you can to some designated line drawn in the sand as Playtivities did with her kids.
You can also change the army crawl into a crab walk crawl to make it more beachy. We even crab walked into the ocean waves for some additional wetness and courage.
20. Beach Towel Tug of War
Draw a line in the sand, and take a side of the beach towel (preferably two beach towels tied together or bring a tug of war rope or jump rope) and see who can pull the other side down and/or across the midline first!
21. Cornhole Game at the Beach
Take one of America’s classic outdoor games, Cornhole, and take it to the beach!
If you are looking for a good, compact one to take to the beach along with all your other gear, you can grab this PVC framed cornhole game.
22. Ladder Ball Toss (aka Monkey Ball)
When I was first introduced to latter ball, they referred to the game as sticks and berries (cause I was in high school and that was apparently funny 🤦♀️).
But, apparently, it’s official name is Monkey Ball, though it does have many nicknames like Redneck Golf and Hillbilly Horseshoes.
Whatever you call this game, it is a fun one to play in the sand! You can pick a good Ladder Toss set here.
23. Spike Ball
This game is like reverse volleyball. It’s challenging, yet simple, and requires four people to play. It’s an active, fun game perfect for the beach (or your backyard)!
24. Bocce Ball at the Beach
Another classic outdoor game, this one is fun for kids and adults and it challenges your ball rolling skills, and sand makes it a whole new experience!
25. Paddle Ball
This fun beach game for kids and adults is a lot like badminton (or ping pong) but without a net or set court limits and with a much faster and hardier birdie!
Grab a Paddle Ball set for the beach!
26. Tidal Ball
This “America’s Beach Game” game combines the competition of cornhole with the ease of bocce ball and is super portable. It requires four people divided into two teams. You toss the balls into the hole for 3 points or the trench for 1 point.
27. Bucket Ball
A lot like cornhole, Bucketball is an easy to carry, easy to play ball in bucket game, but these buckets are specially designed not to tip over with the addition of a little sand or water.
Another bucket beach game, this one has a few different ways to play including in the water and on the sand. You can hack it and bounce the ball into the buckets to score, or not!
Looks like fun for the whole family. Get a BulziBucket here.
29. Bottle Bash
Throw discs at your opponent’s balancing bottle and win! Simple, compact, and super easy. Perfect for the beach!
30. Frisbee and All Its Variants
Like the above Bottle Bash, there are so many different Frisbee or disc games out there.
A simple Frisbee to throw around is fun in its own right too (I love Frisbee!), but if you want some more Frisbee twists, check out these disc games and options:
- Kan Jam Ultimate Disc Game
- Mini Ogodish Super Disk (the original hand trampoline for balls)
- Activ Flyer Flying Rings
- Rope Ring Toss
31. Scoop Ball and Paddle Toss
Simple. Classic. Colorful. Toss and scoop balls back and forth to one another. This beach game is great for kids as it’s simple to catch and the holes make the sand fall through, no problem!
Similar in skill and colors, is the other children’s beach game staple, the Velcro paddles with fuzzy balls that you throw back and forth.
32. Kite Flying
Not really a game, but certainly a classic beach activity, kite flying is fun and relatively easy.
This easy-to-fly kite for kids is perfect for the beach.
33. Parachute Games
Parachutes are so much fun to play with, especially at the beach where you have a lot of wind and balls.
Here is a great list of parachute games for kids!
Use a pool noodle, a beach towel, some random stick you found, or an oar as the limbo stick for a fun beach-themed game of Limbo!
If you are serious limbo players, you can pick up a premium wooden limbo game set here.
35. Greased Watermelon Polo (or Watermelon Football)
I remember playing with a greased watermelon back in high school at a church summer camp as we swam in a lake. Totally weird, totally fun!
I wouldn’t recommend it for oceans as the watermelon is likely to wash away.
Lather up a watermelon with some petroleum jelly or vegetable oil and then throw it into the water. It will float.
Go waist or chest-deep, then kick, push, or swim with the watermelon in an effort to get the watermelon to some goal on the opposite side (if playing with teams), like water polo.
You can also just throw the watermelon around like a giant awkward football, or try to climb on top of the greased watermelon.
Whatever you do with the watermelon, it’s sure to be quite the experience!
Okay, crafts aren’t really games, but there are some really cool and easy beach crafts I found that I really wanted to share.
The first one is dying beach sand! All you need to bring extra are some ziploc bags and food coloring! It makes for some really colorful sand castles and fun!
I also really like these simple yet cool sand science experiments for kids from iGameMom.
The beach is so much fun! I hope you enjoy spending time there with your family.
If you like games, be sure to check out these posts too!:
- Best Educational Board Games and Card Games for Kids
- 30+ Scientific Board Games that Combine Fun with Learning
- 18 Cleaning Games for Kids
- 8 Inspired Gratitude Activities and Games
- 20 Toddler Road Trip Activities and Games
- Great Big List of Classic Toys for Kids
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